World Meningitis Day 2017

posted Apr 24, 2017, 2:16 AM by Emily Koenig

On World Meningitis Day 2017, families and lives all over the world continue to be impacted by this horrific disease. It has been 15 years since we lost our precious Emily, and this loss changed our lives forever. People don’t get over grief; we learn to live with it. 

Please take a moment to watch this video and support our efforts to educate and increase awareness of meningitis. It is a deadly disease that is often overlooked by the public because of its relative rarity and being overshadowed by other more prevalent diseases. Everyone is susceptible, and there is still much work to be done in order to destroy this disease. 




After watching this video, if you feel so inclined please donate to help support this important cause.

If you have a YouTube account, you can also take a sneak peak at the many videos sent in to make up the final overview, just click here »


World Meningitis Day 2016

posted Apr 24, 2016, 9:26 AM by Lorrie Laskey   [ updated Apr 24, 2016, 9:30 AM ]



The clock is ticking and World Meningitis Day is tomorrow, April 24, 2016.  Just 24-hours can mean the difference between life and death for anyone at any age.  Learn the symptoms to protect both you and your loved ones from bacterial meningitis.   Act now, get educated, and spread the word.  This is a vaccine-preventable disease which can be virtually eliminated where vaccines are routinely given.  Visit http://www.comomeningitis.org/ to sign a petition and register your support for governments to make it a priority to prevent bacterial meningitis worldwide.

Meningitis B Vaccine

posted Jun 23, 2015, 1:50 PM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Apr 24, 2016, 9:26 AM by Lorrie Laskey ]

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR ROUTINE INTRODUCTION OF MENINGITIS B VACCINES IN THE US

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet tomorrow, June 24, to discuss and vote on forthcoming recommendations for the new Meningitis B vaccines. In February of 2015, the CDC agreed to provide these two new vaccines to those “most at risk.” This current meeting will consider broader recommendations such as making the vaccines routine for adolescents. 

Can you imagine losing your only child to a vaccine-preventable disease? If the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had recommended the Meningitis C vaccine for adolescents back in 2002, our daughter, Emily, could still be alive. Back in 2003, after Emily suddenly died at the age of 12, my husband and I made a public testimony before the CDC that influenced a change in those guidelines. As a result, the ACIP changed the recommended age group for vaccinations to include adolescents starting at age 11.  

The Global Members of CoMO (Confederation of Meningitis Organizations) will be submitting an important letter to the ACIP committee to help influence this very important decision tomorrow morning.  Click here to read it and help us to Join Hands Against Meningitis. We also have a member of CoMO attending the meeting to give a public testimony about the loss of her daughter to the Meninigitis B strain. You can help by sharing this information within your social networks.

We also implore you to go to the National Meningitis Association’s website, click here, and support all of our endeavors to advocate for vaccinations by signing the petition and leaving any comments you may have.

 If you are interested in listening to the meeting discussions, you can click here to obtain information about dialing into the discussion which will occur between 8:30 and 11:30 tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your support.

The Koenigs

Emily's Dash & Splash

posted Apr 13, 2014, 7:22 PM by Lorrie Laskey   [ updated May 14, 2014, 9:34 AM by Emily Koenig ]


Emily's Dash & Splash

  • Event:  "Emily’s Dash & Splash”
  • Proceeds to Benefit:  Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMO)
  • When: Sunday, 7/13/14 (Rain Date Sunday, 7/27/14)
  • What:  5K Run/Walk - 9:00 am start followed by a Poolside Celebration from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Where: Layton Park & Coatesville Country Club
  • On-Line Registration:  www.runtheday.com or click here
  • Paper Registration: click here
  • Sponsorships & Donations:  click here 

Villa Maria Academy Alumnae Newsletter

posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:07 PM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Apr 13, 2014, 6:59 PM by Lorrie Laskey ]

Emily's Dash Event of December 30, 2012 Makes VMA's Alumnae Newsletter



Villa Alums Help to Organize and Attend

On December 30, 2012, at Whitford Country Club, family, friends, and fellow Villa alumnae gathered together to honor the 10th anniversary celebration of the life of former student Emily Grace Koenig ('04), who passed away suddenly at the age of 12 from bacterial meningitis. 

The occasion was beautiful and unique, just like Emily, and it was a perfect opportunity for her fellow classmates to reunite in support of their dear friend 10 years after her passing. Alums Susan Venema ('04), Lany Wenke ('04), and Erin Eife ('04), along with their Villa moms, all attended and assisted with the event. 

"Emily was a dear friend to my daughter, Susan Venema.   Emily and Susan sat next to each other in Mr. Miller's seventh grade class at Villa Maria Academy.  As you can imagine, that tragic December day touched so many lives.  Emily was loved by so many.  Keeping her memory alive was important to us.  So, when we heard about "Emily's Dash" it seemed only natural to participate in an event that would honor Emily.  The end result was over whelming, a night for all to remember ... renewed friendships, shared family love and fund raising for a cause close to all of our hearts.  Emily's Dash was a huge success ... evident that wonderful evening at Whitford Country Club.  Emily's legacy will continue, in our hearts for many years to come.  We were proud to be part of this wonderful event.  Hopefully, all of our efforts will help to find a cure for this dreadful disease," said Mrs. Venema. 

Also in attendance were current and former faculty and students of Villa Maria Academy. Villa former principals, Sister Mary Ellen Tennity IHM and Sister Rosemary Walsh, IHM,  Villa's current principal, Sister Susan Joseph IHM, Villa's second grade teacher, Sister Maureen Ruth IHM, and eighth grader, Megan McCallister ('13), current winner of the Emily Koenig Award. Former winner of the Emily Koenig award, Grace Olenzak ('12) was also present. Among other alumnae present at the event were Holly Funk ('10) and Caitlin McCallister ('08). 

The Emily Grace Koenig Award is presented annually at the Passing of the Light Ceremony to a VMA seventh grade student. The recipient, who exemplifies Emily's values and virtues, is chosen by her classmates.   

When asked about the personal meaning of the award, Mrs. Koenig responded, "Villa Maria holds a special place in our hearts because Emily thrived and blossomed there.  It is our last "school" memory of her.  By presenting students with this annual award, we feel great joy at being able to carry on her legacy at Villa and stay connected with the school. It has become a highly respected award in the school community which also means a lot to us.  Each year, the students selected to receive the award have been wonderful, and the sisters, the recipients, and their families very appreciative.  We are grateful for this opportunity to make a positive difference in Emily's memory."

 Proceeds from the fundraiser netted approximately $40,000 and went to the Emily's Dash Foundation. The Emily's Dash Foundation is dedicated to supporting charitable efforts that relate to the life of Emily Grace Koenig (7/8/90 - 12/11/02).

Check out the photo presentation under Events, An Evening's Stroll through Paris.


To join the VMA Alumnae Mailing List, click here and enter desired email address.


To join the VMA Alumae Facebook Page, click here to login.



Join Hands Against Meningitis

posted Apr 12, 2013, 11:04 AM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Jun 23, 2015, 1:42 PM ]

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet tomorrow, June 24, to discuss and vote on forthcoming recommendations for the new Meningitis B vaccines. In February of 2015, the CDC agreed to provide these two new vaccines to those “most at risk.” This current meeting will consider broader recommendations such as making the vaccines routine for adolescents. 

Can you imagine losing your only child to a vaccine-preventable disease? If the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had recommended the Meningitis C vaccine for adolescents back in 2002, our daughter, Emily, could still be alive. Back in 2003, after Emily suddenly died at the age of 12, my husband and I made a public testimony before the CDC that influenced a change in those guidelines. As a result, the ACIP changed the recommended age group for vaccinations to include adolescents starting at age 11.  

The Global Members of CoMO (Confederation of Meningitis Organizations) will be submitting an important letter to the ACIP committee to help influence this very important decision tomorrow morning.  Click here to read it and help us to Join Hands Against Meningitis. We also have a member of CoMO attending the meeting to give a public testimony about the loss of her daughter to the Meninigitis B strain. You can help by sharing this information within your social networks.

We also implore you to go to the National Meningitis Association’s website, click here, and support all of our endeavors to advocate for vaccinations by signing the petition and leaving any comments you may have.

 If you are interested in listening to the meeting discussions, you can click here to obtain information about dialing into the discussion which will occur between 8:30 and 11:30 tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your support.

The Koenigs

Emily’s Dash Event Update

posted Feb 28, 2013, 8:20 AM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Apr 5, 2013, 10:22 AM ]


Click on this link or look under the “Events” menu for “An Evening’s Stroll December 2012” to view information & photographs from December 12, 2012.

Please check back soon for more details. We welcome your comments and feedback on the “Contact” page.

Health Advocate™, Inc. Raises Money for Emily’s Dash Foundation

posted Nov 13, 2012, 6:51 PM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Nov 15, 2012, 7:04 AM ]

Health Advocate, Inc. held a company wide fundraiser to support the Emily's Dash Foundation. Employees were given the opportunity to "dress-down" for donations of any amount.

Al Koenig, Emily’s father, accepted a donation from Health Advocate on October 11, 2012. Holding the check on the left in the photograph is Dr. Koenig. 

On his right is Rhonda Lipschutz, public relations representative for Health Advocate. Others pictured in the photograph are Health Advocate employees. 

To the left of Dr. Koenig is friend, Debbie Cook-Altonji and her son, Alexander, who initially approached Health Advocate about supporting the Emily’s Dash Foundation. 

Health Advocate is located at 3043 Walton Road, Suite 150, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462. The Koenigs wish to thank all employees who participated in this special fundraising effort.  

To learn more about this event, follow this link to the press release.

Emily's Dash Celebration & Fundraiser

posted Jul 23, 2012, 11:00 AM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Aug 2, 2012, 1:24 PM ]

Come celebrate the memory of Emily Grace Koenig & reflect on a vacation in Paris when she was 10 years old. Help raise funds to eradicate bacterial meningitis, promote anti-bullying and childhood literacy, and perpetuate scholarships at Villa Maria Academy.

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